U.S. Green Building Council
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
Net zero high rise is a self-contained sustainable community.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
I first ran into the Green Building Initiative last March at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Building Energy conference in Boston.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
Green America offers savvy shoppers daily discounts--and reassurance that they're buying green--through GreenDeals.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
Editor-in-Chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence gets a great dose of green--and cheeseburgers--in Austin, Texas.
Robyn finds enthusiasm for and interest in green building during a recent trip to the Carolinas.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
A Christmas present leads editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence to ponder the benefits of green-building initiatives in Arizona.
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its first certification program for bio-based products will make it easier for consumers to identify biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe products.
We Westerners tend to think we’ve got it all going on when it comes to green living in general, and green building in particular.
"Green" cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
Despite the worldwide increase in environmentally friendly lifestyles, the United States still ranks as one of the least eco-friendly consumer societies. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares ways to green your habits.
TerraChoice’s annual Sins of Greenwashing study finds that 95 percent of the products claiming to be green have used vague language, unproven claims and false certification labels.
A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.
The United States Postal Service has released a collection of beautiful stamps modeled off vintage seed packets.
Groovy Globe will donate 10 percent of its sales from each product sold to non-profit environmental organizations.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
12 of Morton’s buildings have been awarded the National Frame Building Association’s Building of the Year Award for 2011.
Denim is strong and durable, and used jeans can be recycled into all kinds of fun and useful creations.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Here are some tips for making a new garage more environmentally friendly.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
Homeowners beware. Your drywall could be poisoning your home. Officials believe that since 2001, drywall imported from China has contained high levels of sulfur that could be leaking into homes and other buildings.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
In response to last week’s post, we received a letter asking why the forest products industry would be considered a “foe” to green buildings. “I can understand why plastics and vinyl doesn’t make sense, but aren’t wood products exactly the kind of material that qualifies as green?” this reader asked.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Natural Home is ahead of the most recent trends, highlighted in the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s builder poll.
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
This week green building author, architect and Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia dispenses advice on green remodeling during workshops sponsored by Design~Build~Live in Austin, Texas.
The past couple of weeks have been heartening for me. First of all, I’m always ridiculously happy to see the month of March end. No matter what’s going on in my life, the onset of April’s longer days and the sudden burst of plum blossoms in my back yard causes a tectonic shift in my mood. I can’t help it. I’m just completely in love with spring.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
Vantem Outdoor Living partners with Lowe’s Home Improvement to deliver next generation shed and workspace structures.
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
On Monday, May 2, Adventure Cycling Association kicked off its second annual grassroots fundraising effort to raise $30,000 to support ongoing coordination efforts for the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.
In the Spring of 2010, I quit my job as a high school theology teacher, because I wanted to be a farmer. I am now entering my fourth year of full-time farming, even though I had almost no experience farming. Here’s how I did it, and some tips to help you on your way.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
The "Earth Shelter" at The Farm Community in Tennessee combines the geothermal properties of the earth with solar design to produce a very energy efficient home.
Learn about five easy ways for companies to help the environment by implementing a few simple changes to their building and operations.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
ECOvention, LLC announced today that as of August 2010, more than 30 Whole Foods Market locations in the Rocky Mountain region will use the multi-functional, eco-friendly GreenBox to serve take-away customers at their brick-oven pizza counters.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
Almond and wholesale nut farmers in California filed a lawsuit this month against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a regulation requring them to treat their crops with chemicals for the prevention of salmonella, preventing the farmers from selling raw almonds to their customers.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s love for local food has the nation wanting to know more about how to eat in-season. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence offers a healthy helping of advice on how to eat local.
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
On Wednesday, Adventure Cycling Association announced that AASHTO is providing Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of a U.S. Bicycle Route System.
How do you travel, with a family, and maintain some environmental dignity? We recently went exploring in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
Cities, counties and states across the country have created food policy councils in response to their concerns about future food security in their communities. The councils work to coordinate local food efforts, such as farmers markets, to develop a sustainable food system.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated--and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
The bleeding edge of technology is where the true pioneers of their respective industry reside. Adam D. Bearup has had his own impact in the green building field on several fronts, above and below ground.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
Drawers overflowing? Drowning in a sea of more T-shirts than you can wear? Here are two quick and easy ways to get those used Ts back in heavy rotation.
Outlining our process for locating a suitable location for finding a new homestead.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway, and despite an unexpected snowstorm, progress has been made on the concrete slab and the risers.
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
The Solar Foundation found a 13 percent increase in U.S. solar industry jobs in 2012, which is promising for the overall job market, and shows stability in the solar energy job market.
Find out what’s in your paper products with Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.
Dan Chiras discusses the long-term benefits of building a green home.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
Are you looking for professional training as a solar installer or retailer? Check out this list of workshops available at the American Solar Energy Society's 2009 Conference.
Marketing green homes has been limited to few websites with outdated listings that cost the seller or agent an arm and a leg to list. As a homeowner who had invested a lot of money in a green remodel of my own, I was perplexed as to how I was going to show off all the features of my home in a normal MLS listing. With years of research and development, I created a very innovative way to buy, sell, and market sustainable homes.
Some businesses toss around the word "green" to be hip and fit, but the question is just how green are their products and buildings anyways? Let's take a closer look.
The USDA has announced that it will now be easier for consumers to avoid tainted beef.
In 2005, the USDA MyPyramid was introduced as an updated version of 1992 USDA Food Guide Pyramid. While nutrition experts pointed to flaws in the original pyramid, many have found significant flaws in the new food pyramid as well. These graphics have played a key role in nutrition education for American children, but as they continue to be reformatted and reworked, will Americans lose their faith in the USDA?
More tips, ideas, and considerations for choosing green gifts. A sequel/supplement to last year's article!
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
30 states now working to establish official national bicycle routes, with more states interested — new online map and progress report document growing momentum
Magnum announces an expanded collection of work boots based on the best selling Precision series.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
How can you create a lush naturally abundant indoor garden year-round? With these 7 simple principles, you can create a greenhouse that is completely self-sufficient, relying only on the sun to provide all of its heating needs. Moreover, solar greenhouses can grow much more than traditional greenhouses - citrus, avocados, guava - using less energy, water and resources.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
A good layer of environmentally friendly mulch such as eucalyptus, pine bark or cocoa hulls will discourage weeds, keep soil up to 10 degrees cooler and help prevent plant disease. What's your favorite green mulch?
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Where we find a wealth of information for projects and enjoyable reading.
I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
The International Green Construction Code, an International Code Council initiative, released its first set of green building standards today. Standard 189.1 addresses energy efficiency, site sustainability, materials and resources, and more.
Michael Morley will post regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here, he discusses options for installing a colored concrete floor, and considering whether to install a solar hot water system.
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.
Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
The countdown to savings is on now at Morton Buildings.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
The US Department of Agriculture really, really doesn’t want us to read this report, which proves the connection between factory meat and MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria that now kills more people each year than AIDS.
What does “Certified Organic” mean? Food labels can be befuddling, but we’re here to help. Learn the standards that guide the “Certified Organic” label.
Here's what it means when a building department requires "sealed drawings" of your project.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Nestled above an overgrown ridge-top meadow in the Appalachian Mountains, farmer Susana Lein proudly runs Salamander Springs Farm, a permaculture farm, homestead and “food forest,” where living, healthy soil is considered the most important resource.
Mahindra USA, the leader in affordable, high-quality farm equipment, continues its commitment to provide hard-working, high value tractors in the United States with the launch of 13 new models for the 2011 season.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Germany have developed a new type of insulating foam.
An abundance of greens but a shortage of inspiration? Here are some ideas beyond just adding them to salads.
Readers share information and recipes about their favorite eating and cooking greens.
Try to grow some sorrel in your garden this season. It has a unique, zesty flavor that adds a zip to many dishes — and it has a long growing season.
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
Why and how to grow a variety of cold weather greens in most climates.
This spring, try more interesting salads with spicy, crunchy, and colorful greens.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Judy Mimranek shares her father's time-tested tip for digging a root pit and covering it with layers of straw and cow manure in order to store fruits and vegetables through the winter.
Of our daily water use, 75 percent is consumed in the bathroom. Changing our habits can cut back on our use. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence advises on how to save water and energy in the bathroom.
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
These two structures for creating a sustainable homestead are not often associated, but with the right planning they can be integrated into a single multi-use structure that enhances both environments. A greenhouse/chicken coop becomes a year-round food-producing machine, giving you a bounty of fruits, vegetables and protein all in one.
Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.
The blog describes the experience of applying for a federal grant and shares some advice for others who might want to follow in those foot steps.
The USDA first published a plant hardiness zone map based on temperature in 1960. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. What's your zone?
The process of mechanically tenderizing steaks creates a food safety hazard by transferring bacteria that otherwise would be limited to the surface of a steak to the entire cut of meat, inside and out. Rare steak lovers, beware.
Our little farm received the USDA Value Added Producer Grant and we are embarking on an exciting future. Be with us from start to finish.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
Things to consider when purchasing a new or used tractor.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
How to recycle a junked refrigerator into a refrigerator root cellar that works at keeping produce chilled but not frozen during winter months.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks about HVAC work and installing windows.
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
To build Finca Exotica, a sustainable resort on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, the owners took advantage of plentiful native bamboo, kept the footprint small and let buildings unfold organically.
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House
NXP's wifi light bulb would allow homeowners to turn LED and compact fluorescent lights on and off from anywhere, using any Internet-enabled device. Some say it's the first step toward building "smart" computer-controlled homes. Do we need this?
We use more water than we need in our homes every day. If you’re curious to know how much water your own home might be wasting, check out this infographic on U.S. residential water consumption from eLocal.com.
New Internet Presence Offers Users Simple, Value-based Experience
Mahindra USA leads in several survey categories and ranks among top three overall.
Get the most out of spring's cheap-but-healthy greens with this easy, nutrient-dense smoothie.
Making good decisions on how we use our land. Keeping it natural.
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
Grow food year round with no operating costs and no waste by using integrated closed loop production in a heat retaining enclosure.
Our “needs” for the latest gadgets elevates our energy consumption, even with the onslaught of energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics in recent years.
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer--here's how.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Pretty much everything I own got soaking wet with the Mama Earf's recent rain bender in Virginia. But on the bright side, I got to see the genius behind the tipi structure firsthand.
We wade through deep snow to trim limbs and cut dead trees and nothing goes to waste.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
Healthy home advocates are concerned that wireless power and gas meters, which are being installed in homes across the country, could release dangerous radiation.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
If you love salads, lettuce and greens are a great vegetable to grow. They do great in pots or in garden beds. With a few pointers, you can grow salad ingredients for the entire season.
Discovering an outsized pickling tub in our shed inspired me to try this tasty local recipe for greens preserved in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
A deadly fungal infection has killed millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America in the past decade. New research may help combat the devastating disease.
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
In May 2009, the Paid Vacation Act was presented to the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the bill will require that companies offer paid vacation time for their employees working 25 hours a week or more. What do you think of a paid vacation law?
My mother is brilliant. We were comparing recent frustrating experiences with doctors one evening when Mom, a 4th grade teacher, had an idea: The United States should do away with our current healthcare system and replace it with one similar to No Child Left Behind (called No Patient Left Behind), in which physicians are held personally accountable for the continued well-being of their patients.
Washington, DC nutrition foundation, Weston A. Price Foundation, proposes a Healthy 4 Life dietary plan in the form of a colorful booklet and poster featuring four food groups: animal foods; grains, legumes and nuts; vegetables and fruits; and healthy fats.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
The author of STAND UP AND GARDEN discusses why it is safe to can and otherwise preserve produce that's grown in an environment in which pesticides are used.
The Rainwater Hub is an entirely new answer to the limits of traditional downspout diverters and rain barrel systems. The Rainwater Hub distributes rainwater up to 150 feet through regular garden hoses.
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Some consumers are wary of the impending federal phaseout of incandescent light bulbs. Are you?
The American Garden Tool Company is an online source for American-made garden tools, products and accessories.
In the wake of a study that shows access to public transportation is crucial to lowering carbon footprint, the Smarter Cities Project names the top regions for smart transit.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
Ever wonder what, exactly, you're getting when you pay a little extra for Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and paper products? This video offers a comprehensive look at the FSC's roots and branches.
A quality product made in the USA
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
Building a greenhouse out of an old carport destined for the dump.
We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
Using garden space to the maximum.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Concerned about Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops and genetic engineering of our food? Let President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack know.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
Give Mom a gift that offers fair wages and opportunity to people and communities in developing countries. There are now more Fair Trade products available than ever.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus National Advertising Division recommends that Sherwin-Williams modify or discontinue advertising claims that its “Harmony” paint line is completely free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
As a third-party certifier, the Rainforest Alliance ensures that farms and forests are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. The green frog seal and the FSC logo have become widely recognized, credible symbols of sustainability.
University of Maine leads the United States in clean-energy technology, thanks to the development of a grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Maine.
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opens the debate of whether to remove the Northern Rocky gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?
Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
As antibiotic resistant infections become more prevalent due to antibiotic use in livestock, health advocates turn to the White House for action.
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
In this posting we discuss the benefits of converting to renewable energy sources vs. the consequences of continuing to use fossil fuels.
A year-long study in Oklahoma found that consumers who used energy-tracking technology and pricing plans that let them analyze their usage can cut their consumption in half.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy launches a national campaign aimed at the American Automobile Association.
As America’s fuel use continues to decrease, proposed solutions such as the Keystone XL pipeline and food-to-fuel conversions may be unnecessary.
Meals become a snap when you add pressure cooking to your repertoire. Pressure cookers are great kitchen companions that bolster the flavor of even simple dishes, plus they save you time and money.
The sustainability of one’s home depends as much (if not more) on its location as on how the house is built. If you’re looking to buy land or to buy (or rent) a house, consider the following sustainability criteria when comparing property locations.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
Check out this interesting video showing the construction of the Builders without Borders Straw Bale Eco-House.
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
Since the U.S. House of Represenatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the U.S. Senate started work on its own energy and clilmate change bill.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
Save forests, use local materials, build a durable house made of whole trees.
Yes, unreinforced masonry is a risk in earthquake zones. Here’s how you can find the earthquake risk for your area, plus tips for making adobe houses more stable.
Kids love to build forts and space ships, and create secret places to dream and imagine.
Here's where you can find or build a press for making compressed earth blocks, and some helpful advice on sealants.
As we continue to watch a zero energy home get built in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, I’m digging the opportunity to learn more about building materials that I’ve seen in finished form but never in process. I like the
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Ann Harvey Yonkers, founder of Washington, D.C.'s FreshFarm Markets co-op, nests eggs in a bed of wilted fresh greens for a delicious meatless summertime brunch or dinner.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
Gathering weeds from your garden or yard can make a quick, healthy spring meal.
Host a community seed swap in honor of "National Seed Swap Day," plan to save your own seeds from the garden this year, and get inspired to cook creatively with winter vegetables.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) assures consumers that manufacturers have rectified many of the issues related to using CFLs, making them into mere myths. These issues include usage in three-way fixtures, non-compatibility in dimmers, the high price of CFLs and CFL use in fans and candelabras. Additionally, CFL users should understand the lifespan of the bulb and causes of flicker.
Trying to interpret and understand scientific reports and their failure to come to a consensus.
More than 15 tips for saving water inside your home and outside in your yard and garden. Reducing your water use will not only lower your water bills and help prevent water shortages during drought periods in your area. It also...
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
If you still want to do everything you can to make your home healthy—for your family and the planet—take a look at how you clean. Like it or not, we have to clean our homes on a regular basis. Natural Home offers lots of great ideas for making your own healthy, natural cleaning solutions—or look to some of the great green solutions now available at your grocery store.
With the U.S. importing 91 percent of its food, many crucial details of what we're consuming can be hard to trace: how our seafood is caught or produced, health codes across borders, and how the ecosystems are being affected. But does that matter?
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
Don't like weeds? Well, maybe this will change your mind. An article in the New York Times, discusses possible ways that weeds could help fight global warming.
Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
Concerned about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's refusal to stop Monsanto? Here are four steps you can take now.
The Bush administration is removing gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, but environmentalists think it could be a mistake.
The US Pro Cycle Challenge is a major cycling race that brings cyclists from all over the world including the recent winner of the Tour de France.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.
Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems Roundup Ready alfalfa safe, leaving organic crops vulnerable to contamination and paving the way for more superweeds.
Fearing a sugar shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it would defy a District Court judge's ban on Roundup Ready sugar beets.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
Steve explains why building a scale model is such a good way to design homestead structures, and how to do it.
This May 2014, Be the Change Project is attempting to build a cob house in one day with 50 people.
Straw bale and timber frames are highly compatible, beautiful, and the efficiency and longevity of using these natural building techniques is superior in a cold climate setting.
60 people raised a cob house in one day in Reno, Nevada, with the Be the Change Project and House Alive.
Building Biology advises us to look for a successful history of use when choosing building materials but in our ever changing product-based building environment we seldom have the luxury of evaluating track record. This becomes quickly apparent when vetting new products for client’s homes. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
A review of the Husqvarna hatchet.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
Green marketing faces new regulations from the FTC for the first time since 1998. Natural Home’s Editor-in-Chief, Robyn Griggs Lawrence, tells more in “FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers.”
Do you support or work for a nonprofit that helps protect the environment or promotes sustainability? Whether it’s a small local group or a national one, this month you have the opportunity to help it get recognized in GreatNonprofits’ 2012 Green Awards. Here’s how.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS' green homes editor offers remodeling advice for home owners interested in reducing their environmental footprint.
Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.
Come rejoice in the bounty of heirloom tomatoes - experience the flavors and choose your favorites at tomato tastings throughout the Southeast. Plus, it's time to plant fall alliums - garlic and perennial onions - and fall crops for winter storage!
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?
The economic stimulus package that President Obama signed last month provides $20 billion for investment in a greener economy.
I’ve heard that the moment you plunk down a deposit for a vacation or buy yourself a plane ticket, a good chunk of you is already at the beach (or the mountains or the city . . . or wherever).
Conventional household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that could have adverse effects on your health. Learn how to mix up your own homemade cleaners with these suggestions from Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence.
I’m sitting on the deck of my room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, California, on a gorgeous spring day.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares what she's learned about the challenges of mass producing eco-friendly products that meet our own tough criteria.
A new study shows that people who buy green products are more likely to cheat and steal than people who buy conventional products.
Mindy Pennybacker’s new book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices, and her website, GreenerPenny.com, offer easy tips for daily green living.
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
The Giving Tree Band has done it again with their latest folk album, "Great Possessions." Read how they created what has been dubbed "the greenest of albums."
The green movement is showing up in some unexpected places.
Vespa USA highlights five decades of smart metro mobility, freedom and fun.
In 45 years, Deltec Homes have never lost a house to high winds.
Everyone's talking about the economic bailout, but few seem to focus on the bigger issue: we need more jobs, and we need a viable economic stimulus. One study shows those needs could come from green investment.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.
The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.
There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
Building community through sharing work and food.
"Earthen Floors" by Sukita Reay Crimmel and James Thomson provides essential information for creating beautiful floors using natural techniques.
What is the best way to learn cordwood construction? Are there workshops or classes offered?
The fundamental building blocks, descriptions, diagrams and pictures of best practices cordwood buildings.
Learn how to build using the cordwood construction technique. Author Richard Flatau recommends taking a workshop or building a practice building.
The best time for selling your cordwood home. Tips, websites, suggestions, and what to do BEFORE you build.
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
This blog post is a description of starting a building project using Structural Insulated Panels, also known as SIPs.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.
Build your own wood-fired earth oven for baking fluffier, more flavorful bread and other baked delights.
I had no idea putting dirt in a box was this difficult.
Building a closet from lumber milled from standing dead trees.
Selecting a tree, reducing it to logs, milling out the logs into lumber and using that lumber for specific projects.
As I drive around in my travels, I can't help but notice that most houses have icicles hanging off them. Most of the time, the icicles are there for a very specific reason — a reason that can be fixed. Think of icicles as dollar signs, because that is what they are! This article discusses how we diagnosed a major ice problem on a house in Michigan and what scenarios we cooked up to fix the problem.
The Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce is the only statewide green chamber of commerce in the country, and they're opening their first local chapter in Phoenix next week.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
Join the green collar economy by going through a green job training program. Learn the ins and outs of solar photovoltaics, wind power or biomass and save the planet while furthering your career.
Discover Green Jobs Now: National Day of Action to Build the New Economy and learn how you can get in on the action by finding or even organizing events in your area.
Slower growth in crop yields, high oil prices and use of food crops to make biofuels could push food prices higher for the next year and beyond.
Use these green tomato recipes when garden season leaves you with an abundance of green tomatoes on your vines.
A new job-finding website, Good Food Jobs, can help you find meaningful work in the food industry.
Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.
In 2010, Chevrolet announced that they were embarking on their Carbon Reduction Initiative, an effort to invest $40 million in carbon offset projects across the country with the goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The program includes wind, landfill-gas-to-energy, solar, efficiency, and conservation projects.
Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence introduces her new blog, Natural Home Living, and shares everything you need to know about going green. Natural Home Living focuses on answering your green home questions, following green building news and showing you how to save money by going green.
Readers share resources and information about their food-related jobs.
Don't choose vinyl: There is a greener option.
Don't miss Blue August, a month-long event with special programming from Planet Green that will motivate you to become more aware of the world's oceans.
Midwest Living designers give the Smart Home at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry a green makeover that features zero-VOC paint, furniture made from recycled steel and reclaimed wood, and other planet-friendly home decor.
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
Energy-monitoring devices won big at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City.
The Seed Savers Exchange is looking for a new executive director. Just six months after he succeeded George DeVault, Aaron Whaley has resigned.
Find out more about your best options for a greener roof.
Come one, come all to The National Heirloom Exposition, the gardening event people are hailing as “The World’s Pure Food Fair!” This exhibition will be held in Santa Rosa, California and will host a variety of natural food events, including the largest showcase of heirloom fruits and heirloom vegetables in history.
Enjoy this alternative "green" building strawbale gingerbread-style house made with graham crackers, mini-wheats and pretzels.
Share your thoughts. What homemade and natural cleaning products do you find work best in your home?
Remember to look for these key words when buying good, green gifts.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses the pros and cons of green consumerism.
A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
President Barack Obama's second wave of stimulus money creates new green jobs.
The reasons for the inequitable distribution of human nourishment, worldwide, are complex and hotly debated.
If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.
If you are planning to build a healthy home your first step is to find a site that will support health and here are some helpful tips about siting
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
Houses take a lifetime to pay off these days, and even a prosaic shed, barn or coop requires a heavy investment of money, time, skilled labour and imported materials. For thousands of years, though, people around the world used an ancient technique to build homes and other structures quickly, using nothing but local material and simple, easily learned skills.
Website links to earthbag building projects.
Though he didn’t know exactly how, Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Glimpse a view into the world of cordwood construction. This old-fashioned, natural building technique can inspire you to build an energy-efficient, mortgage-free house of your own.
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, beginning with rewiring a home, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
Building a small cordwood cafe in Colorado. A fun project for everyone!
See how a structure made from cob, a form of earthen construction, handles a laboratory shake test.
Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.
Congress is about to pass legislation to ease the worry of homeowner debt, but it's also possible to build your dream home without a mortgage.
Extolling the virtues of salvaging and reusing building materials
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.
Part two discusses soil testing and costs associated with building an underground/earth sheltered home. You will see pictures of earth shelter plans and soil testing which you will find nowhere else on the Internet!
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Finally, we start to take shape.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Wireless temperature control mattresses and pads offer a dream come true for
Believe it: With patience and pecking around, you can find low-voc paint for little more (maybe even less!) than you'd pay for conventional paint. What's your experience?
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
The X Prize Foundation recently announced the winner of their "What's Your Crazy Green Idea" competition.
Using an MPG app may help reduce your consumption of gas, and make your commute and road trips more economical and green.
JavaCycle has saved more than 40 tons of burlap coffee bag from landfills.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding rings and green engagement rings.
Branded as smarter capitalism, the Petition for a Green Recovery seeks a new kind of environmental policy to green America. Using financial incentives, this idea plans to create a marketplace that takes into account environmental and social costs while increasing the green jobs sector.
Mother Earth News' green homes editor discusses eco-friendly insulation options, and explains why some are greener than others.
Even progressive cities have work to do, and sometimes the biggest changes come from good people asking the right questions.
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
Many people perceive going green as an inconvenience and an unnecessary burden on their daily lives. What they don't realize is that they can take simple steps to help protect the environment without the disruption to their lifestyle, but save money as well.
Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.
‘Tis the season to shop for green gifts—here’s how.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
Information about energy-efficient washing machines and cellular window shades. These energy-efficient appliances and window shades will please environmentally conscious consumers.
Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
If you crave great music with an eco-conscious cause, attend Rock the Green, Milwaukee’s first green music festival.
Third-party certifications are extremely helpful. While you’re out shopping, look for the following logos.
Target Red Shop offers Lulan Artisans’ fair trade clutch bags to help build better lives for weavers in southeast Asia and end human trafficking.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
A company called From War to Peace makes “peace bronze” out of disarmed nuclear missile systems. The bronze is then transformed into cool items such as jewelry and bottle openers.
Accelerating Appalachia is the world's first nature-based green-business accelerator that connects innovators, investors and mentors that are aligned with people, place and prosperity.
More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes that would work with nature. Today, his Earthships inspire green designers and architects.
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
Learn how to create a yoga studio that enhances your practice and your health.
Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.
Whether I'm in the market for something funky or just a few bricks for the garden, I always visit Boulder ReSource first. Check out this expert's tips on mining your local salvage yard for gems.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
Discount pricing on all Morton buildings now through February.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses made with reclaimed materials.
Discussion of some of the first log building tools you will need to build a log home — debarking spuds and drawknives.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
The work invovlve in tranforming a house that wastes energy into a house that's 50%-95% more energy efficient is called a "deep energy retrofit." We need to find ways to do more of these to save energy, money and the environment.
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
There is an ideal relative humidity range for our health and that is somewhere between 35% and 55%. In modern life we have introduced many new sources of moisture into our homes. Daily showers, laundry, cooking and dishwashing tend to create concentrated bursts of humidity. Because conventional construction can tolerate very little increase in humidity without condensation/mold problems moisture from these sources must be mechanically sucked out of the home.
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
We're using earthbags and straw bales to construct an efficient, cost-effective, and roomy earthbag root cellar.
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
If you want to own property, you have to find a way to finance buying land. Here, one couple explains how they took out a mortgage to build a home and purchase land.